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Suppression of Evidence

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//February 19, 2024//

Suppression of Evidence

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//February 19, 2024//

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Adrian L. Johnson

Case No.: 22-2932

Officials: Rovner, Wood, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Suppression of Evidence

After pulling over Johnson for driving with a suspended license, Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Haber had his trained dog sniff around Johnson’s car. The dog alerted to the scent of a controlled substance, prompting Haber to search the car. The dog was right: Haber found drugs, drug paraphernalia, and two handguns. In time, Johnson faced federal charges for possession of drugs with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a), being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

Johnson moved to suppress all evidence, contending that the search of his car violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment. The district court denied the motion. Johnson then pleaded guilty in exchange for the dismissal of the felonin-possession charge, but he reserved his right to appeal the suppression ruling. The court sentenced Johnson to 180 months in prison, and he filed the anticipated appeal. The Seventh Circuit agrees with the district court that Haber did not unconstitutionally prolong the stop to conduct the dog sniff.


Decided 02/15/24

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